In March 2016, a report was presented to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry denouncing the genocide of Christians in the Middle East. The report signed by many important interest groups presented evidence that documented the:
- assassinations of Church leaders
- mass murders and deportations
- kidnapping for ransom
- sexual enslavement and systematic rape of girls and women
- forcible conversions to Islam
- destruction of Christian churches, monasteries, cemeteries, and artifacts
I felt I needed to honor this important effort by going through the entire 278-page report and at the end of the report I felt sick at heart and I knew that I needed to share, with whoever would listen, the tragedy and horrific violence being committed against our brothers and sisters in Christ. We cannot be blind to what is happening, nor can we be silent!
One of the documents in this report on Christian Genocide includes an ISIS price list for women being sold into sexual slavery. The price of the women being sold varies according to their age. The price list was published in the type of format a business would use informing distribution channels of recommended prices of various types of merchandise.
I think a reasonable reaction to this horror is “How can this be happening?!” And “What do we do!”
This report to the U.S. government is calling for political intervention and a coordinated international response to genocide in the Middle East. But political and military intervention alone will NOT, in my humble opinion, stop this violence.
Terrorist that rape and kill innocent people have been possessed by evil. Wars occur on two different levels, a physical level that we can see with our eyes and a spiritual level that we cannot see with our eyes.
While I am not refuting the need for political and military intervention, I am advocating for a corresponding critical and urgent spiritual response to this violence and terror.
It is impossible in war for innocent civilians to not be wounded and killed. It is unrealistic to believe that a political/military response can be so carefully targeted to prevent innocent bystanders from being killed. Do you think fighter pilots dropping bombs from the sky can ensure that innocent people — mothers and fathers and their children will not be killed in the crossfire? Invariably war causes the spiritual forces of darkness to become stronger and more malicious because one act of violence motivates another, causing more and more innocent people to die. The killing of innocent people is a sin and the more mankind sins the stronger the demonic forces of evil become.
In addition, it is important to understand that while people are being killed in war, demons do not get killed and they do not die! Demons are eternal spirits that possess the soul’s of men and women and they keep moving from person to person, prowling around, looking to cause more and more evil and bloodshed. The military can try to kill terrorists but the demons that possess terrorists can only be stopped with spiritual intervention! In the absence of spiritual warfare what happens is the evil spirits move from person to person, enraging more people, causing more hatred, more violence, more vengeance, more ideological deception and more mass killings.
If you are a disciple of Jesus you must understand this!
Recall the words of St. Paul,
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
This fight against evil spirits (‘demons’, or ‘fallen angels’) is a fight focused on disabling the demonic force, preventing the demons to possess more souls. This spiritual warfare is aimed at the roots of violence.
We are living in a world where radical terrorists are declaring that God is calling them to kill our brothers and sisters in Christ, along with Jews and all those that fight against them. This is the ultimate diabolical deception that Our Holy God of Peace is calling for the violent extermination of innocent people! But remember who Satan is: He is the great deceiver! “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Revelation 12:9
If we are Christian, then we must prove it by following the Word of God. Remember Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14
This is what Jesus told us to do: “But I tell you, love your enemies and PRAY for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44
Truth is revealed by the Spirit of God; the Holy Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth. We must prove that we are God’s disciples by fighting the forces of evil in the spiritual realms that have convinced people to commit violent abominations!
Jesus warned us that love was not something we can restrict to those that love us. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” Luke 6:32
In the Report on Genocide submitted to US Secretary of State, John Kerry last week, I read about “one Christian man from Mosul who committed suicide after ISIS fighters brutally raped his wife and daughter in front of him.” I keep thinking about these poor people! I keep thinking about them, our family in Christ! Can you imagine the pain these poor people are enduring? My heart breaks for them!
Now you may ask me ‘how can I love the devil that did this?’
And I say to you that the type of love Jesus is calling us to commit to consists of a ‘spiritual preemptive attack on the demons that caused this violence. This spiritual attack is focused on defending the next family against this horrific, diabolical violence’!
If the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit of God, converts these radical terrorists then violence stops because we shut down the demons that are behind this!
Guns can kill people, but they cannot kill demons! ‘Spiritual warfare’ stops demons because we fight with the omnipotent power and Spirit of God and we fight the way God taught us to fight.
Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified for us so that we could become His people, a people of love and compassion, a people of peace and justice. We cannot ignore the violence and sin that is happening in the world. We cannot forget our brothers and sisters in Christ, nor can we forget people of any religious denomination that are suffering. If we are God’s people, then we are chosen to fight against evil and stand up to remind everyone who God is and what He wants. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16
As disciples of Jesus, God arms us for battle, but we must choose to do battle against Satan by consenting to God’s Holy Will. Let us begin the ‘good fight’ by repenting of our sins and asking God to purify us of all unrighteousness for God will not hear the prayers of sinners. God hears the prayers of the righteous.
“If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
God tells us this: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
What is God telling us in this Scripture? He’s telling us ‘if you are mine prove it by humbling yourself, praying and turning away from sin.’ If we do this, God promises to answer us and heal our world.
Disciples of Jesus we are called to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:11-12
St. Peter warns us to “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
To fight the ‘good fight of faith’ we need to trust in God, believing in His infinite love for us and in His willingness to supply us with the grace we need to be faithful servants of God.
Satan wants us to focus all our energies on self-gratification but God wants us to focus on giving Him glory. We need to fight for souls and we need to fight the devils in the world that are barbarically hurting and killing innocent people.
As we shift our focus from pleasing ourselves to pleasing God we will find the path of sanctification and the true purpose of our lives. And in pursuing that sacred purpose we will find peace and joy, becoming ‘Soldiers of Christ’ fighting against evil for the triumph of good in our world, stopping the demons causing sin, violence and war.
The first apostles walked from town to town telling the people of God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ: “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 Let us continue to proclaim the will of God that all people work together to build peace in the world: “Let him turn away from evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3:11
The armour we are to wear for spiritual battle consists of faith and hope that gives us the strength to do God’s will: “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6: 16-17
With true faith, Satan’s attempts to tempt us will fail because we will know and love God and trust in God’s omnipotence to help us to live just and holy lives. We wear ‘salvation’ as a helmet because our hope and trust in God’s saving grace protects our minds from discouragement and despair. Like good soldiers we know our marching orders. The Word of God (the Bible of God’s instructions) is the sword we use to protect and defend ourselves from attacks from the evil one.
Disciples of Christ as we prepare to celebrate Easter, remembering the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, let us not forget the persecuted Body of Christ in the world. There are so many people who are suffering from poverty, violence, hatred, injustice, illness, discrimination. Let us rise up, repent of our sins and ask God to bless us as we pray for all people, invoking the power of Our Lord Jesus to save all souls and stop violence and war!
Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have! “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
Do not think of the Passion of Christ only on Good Friday. I invite you to make a daily pilgrimage to Calvary as you contemplate the Passion of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Pray for all souls, pray especially for those suffering and for those most in need of God’s mercy. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being so violently persecuted and killed and pray for those that persecute them. Look at your Holy Lord Jesus dying on the Cross for you and know that the merits of His sacrifice are infinite. Invoke the power of God and call upon the Holy Spirit of Truth to convince people to love not hate, to forgive and to turn away from violence and evil.
Join A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ, a global Christian peace movement that is praying for an end to violence and war. We are uniting everyday in prayer, at the time Our Holy Lord died for us, 3pm (in our local time zones). We are praying for the mercy of Our Lord Jesus upon all souls. We are praying for God to send His Holy Spirit upon the earth as He first did at Pentecost to convince people of God’s truth. We are praying for all people to know and love Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came into the world so that we could all be saved. God wills for us to fight the good fight of faith. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17